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The timing of initiation of renal replacement therapy (RRT) in severe acute kidney injury (AKI) remains controversial, with early initiation resulting in unnecessary therapy for some patients while expectant therapy may delay RRT for other patients. The furosemide stress test (FST) has been shown to predict the need for RRT and therefore could be used to exclude low-risk patients from enrollment in trials of RRT timing. We conducted this multicenter pilot study to determine whether FST could be used to screen patients at high risk for RRT and to determine the feasibility of incorporating FST into a trial of early initiation of RRT.
FST was performed using intravenous furosemide (1 mg/kg in furosemide-naive patients or 1.5 mg/kg in previous furosemide users). FST-nonresponsive patients (urine output less than 200 mL in 2 h) were then randomized to early (initiation within 6 h) or standard (initiation by urgent indication) RRT.
FST was completed in all patients (100%). Only 6/44 (13.6%) FST-responsive patients ultimately received RRT while 47/60 (78.3%) nonresponders randomized to standard RRT either received RRT or died (P < 0.001). Among 118 FST-nonresponsive patients, 98.3% in the early RRT arm and 75% in the standard RRT arm received RRT. The adherence to the protocol was 94.8% and 100% in the early and standard RRT group, respectively. We observed no differences in 28-day mortality (62.1 versus 58.3%, P = 0.68), 7-day fluid balance, or RRT dependence at day 28. However, hypophosphatemia occurred more frequently in the early RRT arm (P = 0.002).
The furosemide stress test appears to be feasible and effective in identifying patients for randomization to different RRT initiation times. Our findings should guide implementation of large-scale randomized controlled trials for the timing of RRT initiation.
clinicaltrials.gov, NCT02730117. Registered 6 April 2016.